Royal fever hit a small Aberdeenshire fishing village this week as crowds gathered to visit His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay during a visit to a family-run seafood business.
The Duke of Rothesay’s visit on Monday (September 13) to Murray McBay and Company in Johnshaven followed a meeting he had with the McBay family last year at Birkhall, where he showed his interest in the fishing and seafood industry.
After a warm welcome from pupils at Johnshaven Primary School, The Duke chatted with the small crowd, showing his interest in community spirit, especially after such tough times, and took the time to meet the other local small businesses in the village before he was shown into ‘the shed’ to see the holding tanks and live lobsters, landed at the village harbour.
Ivar McBay, Partner of Murray McBay & Co, and his two sons Ivar Jnr and Jason showed the weighing in and grading process of the fresh lobsters just landed by local boats.
The Duke was then shown the family’s new retail venture ‘The Lobster Shop’ and met the other members of staff John Colquhoun, Karen Duncan and Sally Drinnan.
Loren McBay, who works in the retail arm of the business, said: “The visit was a huge delight for our family business, and it was a privilege to have a member of the Royal Family visit our wee shop.”
Partner in the business, Jackie McBay, added: “After many years as a wholesale company it was a daunting prospect to diversify into retail but we are very glad we did. Today’s visit was exciting for us all to show His Royal Highness our produce.”
Murray McBay & Co has traded as a wholesale shellfish merchant for more than 75 years specialising in lobster with customers worldwide – with and Japan, Norway and Europe being the main markets.
With Brexit and the pandemic stopping all export sales 2020 proved to be a tough year for the business, which is why the family decided to diversify into retail to encourage the public to enjoy the fantastic fresh and delicious seafood Scotland’s coastline offers.
The Lobster Shop had its first sales of prepared Lobster on Hogmanay 2020 and although it has been a tough year for all retail businesses, the McBay family is positive about going forward with exciting prospects ahead.